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Murialdo, Leonardo, Bl.


Founder of the Congregation of St. Joseph (Turin);b. Turin, Italy, Oct. 26, 1828; d. Turin, March 30, 1900. Murialdo studied theology in the university of Turin, where he obtained a doctorate (1850) and was ordained (1851). He then devoted himself to the education of poor boys, and in 1857 he became director of the oratory of San Luigi, offered to him by St. John bosco. To improve his pedagogical talents and to familiarize himself with the French school of spirituality, Murialdo attended the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris (186566). Upon returning to Turin he was named rector of the Collegio Artigianelli, which aimed to supply poor youths between the ages of 8 and 24 with Christian education and training in a trade. Under Murialdo's leadership the school gained a high reputation for its modern methods of vocational guidance and for its superior teaching staff.

In 1873 Murialdo founded the Pious Congregation of St. Joseph (Turin) and became its superior general. As one of the first in Italy to promote the Catholic worker movement, he established Catholic workers' unions (Unioni Operaie Cattoliche, 1871) in Turin and began the weekly publication La Voce dell'Operaio. To effect the Christian renewal of society and win liberty for the Church, Murialdo participated actively in the Opera dei Congressi, served on Catholic committees, and initiated many Catholic associations. At the sixth Catholic Congress in Naples (1883), he established a national federation of societies to improve the press and founded the monthly La buona stampa. In beatifying him (Nov. 3,1963), Paul VI remarked that the Church was exalting not only his personal virtues, but also "the social force that these virtues clothe." Murialdo's remains are venerated in the church of St. Barbara in Turin.

Bibliography: e. reffo, Il teologo L. Murialdo (Turin 1903; 6th ed. Rome 1964). g. vercellono, Vita e spirito del Servo di Dio teologo L. Murialdo (Bergamo 1941). j. cottino, Il beato L. Murialdo (Pignerol 1963). f. bea, Beato L. Murialdo (Rome 1963). a. marengo, Contributi per uno studio su L. Murialdo educatore (Rome 1964).

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